Boards/Backplanes

IC markets growth in the automotive sector

31st January 2024
Kristian McCann
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Integrated Circuits (ICs) have become the cornerstone of modern electronics, their significance underscored by their extensive use in a myriad of industries. 2020 saw NAND Flash and DRAM dominating the IC markets, together accounting for a third of total IC sales.

This trend reflects the crucial role ICs play in today's technology-driven world.

ICs, essentially tiny electronic circuits built on semiconductor material, have revolutionised how we interact with technology. From smartphones and computers to sophisticated medical equipment, they form the brains of countless devices. In 2020, the DRAM market had projections of $64.6 billion, surpassing the NAND flash market, which saw sales of around $56.0 billion. This growth was partly driven by increased Internet usage during Covid, with a rise in demand for personal computing systems and data-center servers.

One of the most notable areas where ICs are making a significant impact is in the automotive industry. Integrated circuits in automotive applications have transformed vehicles into complex electronic devices on wheels. They are pivotal in enhancing vehicle performance, safety, and comfort. Modern cars, especially electric and hybrid vehicles, rely heavily on ICs for battery management, infotainment systems, and advanced driver-assistance systems. The progression towards autonomous vehicles will further escalate the demand for high-performance ICs in the automotive sector.

Analogue devices, particularly those used in power management, are among the top five IC product categories by unit shipments. These components are vital in managing the power supply and consumption in various electronic devices, including those in automotive applications.

The DRAM category, essential for high-speed data processing, is experiencing an increase in shipments, indicative of the growing need for efficient data handling in various technology applications, including the automotive industry.

The global IC market is also influenced by significant developments in semiconductor manufacturing, such as the advancements made by Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company in sub-5nm technology nodes. These technological strides are expected to drive the IC market's growth in revenue over the next decade, despite the industry's cyclical nature.

China remains the largest consumer of ICs, attributed to its substantial production of consumer electronics, as well as parts of industrial and automotive electronics. However, efforts by the USA and European countries to bolster domestic manufacturing in these sectors might reshape this dynamic in the latter half of the decade.

In summary, the IC market, led by NAND Flash and DRAM, is a crucial driver of technological advancement across various sectors, with the automotive industry standing out as a significant beneficiary of these developments. As technology continues to evolve, the role of integrated circuits in driving innovation and efficiency in these sectors will become increasingly vital.

 

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